I am one of those people with an ever-growing reading list that’s more or less impossible to get through in a lifetime. Partly, because I am a procrastinator and keep putting some of those books off (Not today, Anna Karenina. Not today). But also because I tend to let passionate recommendations cut the line when I’m just not sure about my mood.
I’ve come to find that taking guidance from people you trust or admire is a good place to start when you’re trying to find something new to read. Book clubs are great because they offer the added benefit of having someone to discuss what you’ve just read, but group reading is not for everyone and some people just like to enjoy books at their own pace.
Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from them. Especially those in a newer format that allows you to participate, or not, at your own leisure.
The Celebrity Book Club Trend
There has been a growing trend of celebrity-led book clubs and imprints in the past few years –which is pretty great. In addition to presenting readers with more options that might suit their tastes, these wonderful endeavors also encourage people to read more and generate platforms for new and more diverse voices in literature.
Some of the most notorious names in celebrity book clubs include Oprah (the original celeb book club creator), Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon and Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine. If you think that these amazingly talented women may have something that may interest you, then keep reading. These are some of their most recent suggestions.
Great Women and Their Awesome Reads
Oprah, ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama
‘Becoming’ is a powerful memoir penned by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. The book takes readers through her journey to becoming the powerhouse we now all know, admire and love. The memoir has been collecting brilliant reviews since it was published in November 2018 and is considered a must-read by many –including, obviously, Oprah.
“It is Michelle Obama’s personal story, of course,” Oprah explains. “But I believe it’s going to spark within you the desire to think about your own becoming”.
‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee
Emma Watson’s love of books is no secret and it’s no surprise that she has a book club of her own. As a member of ‘Our Shared Shelf’, you’ll be able to discuss their picks with other like-minded enthusiasts through Good Reads. However, you don’t have to be a member to browse through their past and current selections.
Their choice for May 2019 is ‘Pachinko’, by Min Jin Lee. The 2017 bestseller tells a story of four generations of a Korean family in Japan and has had amazing reviews.
‘From Scratch’ by Tembi Locke
Reese Witherspoon’s book club is called ‘Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine’. In it, new titles are selected and shared through a Facebook account every month. Her fans can read the books she recommends and then chat about their thoughts on the material on this friendly social platform.
Their latest selection, ‘From Scratch’ is a story about finding yourself and new places to call home. And yes, it takes place in Italy but it’s so much more than a tired tale of self-discovery somewhere in Sicily. It’s a tale of redefining yourself once all is lost – and about the greatness of food.
“In this intimate cross-cultural memoir, Tembi [Locke] takes you on her journey of falling in love with an Italian chef named Saro, becoming a mother, and facing the biggest loss of her life”.
‘Joy Enough’ by Sarah McColl
Emma Robert’s has always been a self-declared voracious reader and through Bellerist, she shares her current reads and promotes new voices and upcoming authors.
The actress shared a memoir penned by newcomer Sarah McColl as the club’s February pick. ‘Joy Enough’ has been described as a tribute to the joy and pain of loving someone, and focuses on McColl’s choice to drop everything and take care of her mother after her cancer diagnosis.
‘Golden Child’ by Claire Adam
Sarah Jessica Parker is the editorial director to her own imprint and she has been using it as a platform to share works she loves with the world. ‘Golden Child’ is her second acquisition, a beautiful debut novel written by Claire Adam.
Set in Trinidad, ‘Golden Child’ tells the story of two very different brothers and the impossible and heartbreaking choices their family is forced to make in the wake of a kidnapping.
‘The Summer Book’ by Tove Jansson
‘The Summer Book’, a novel by Tove Jansson that was originally published in 1972, was April’s choice for Florence Welch’s book club.
The book focuses on the relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter and broadcasts Jansson’s versatility in the loveliest ways. It’s also one of ten adult works written by the Finnish author and illustrator who is best known as the creator of ‘The Moomins’.
What was the last great book you found through someone else’s endorsement?